Did you know, in a study by USM, they found that 91% of purchases were influenced by word of mouth? Ninety one percent! Yet in today’s business world, almost nobody is trying to plan for a word of mouth strategy.
Most companies hope they get referrals, but very few are actually trying to get them.
Stop hoping, and start planning.
If all you’re doing is hoping, chances are you are letting everything be run by luck. Some people might talk about you, most won’t. If they do, you probably won’t know if it’s in a positive or a negative light.
Word of mouth as a marketing channel has existed for so long, it probably was THE only way to market before any technology. In 10, 20 years who knows if the marketing channels you are using like Facebook, email, newspaper ads are still going to exist.
Remember the newspaper!?
Word of mouth is one of the only marketing channels that I can confidently say will continue to exist no matter what happens in the world. It’s how humans are wired. When we think something is great, we immediately want to tell other people. We have this NEED to let other people know what we think. The same thing goes if people hate a product.
The problem is most companies have never tried to have a word of mouth strategy. They don’t even know where to begin. So let me give you a quick rundown of what you need to know in order to start planning a word of mouth strategy:
Go Where the Conversation is happening
Where do people go to talk? Obviously people need to have real-life conversations, and they can happen anywhere at any time. Technology has provided businesses with a way to be a part of a conversation ecosystem called social media.
Most companies don’t get that social media is not meant to be a place to advertise, it’s a place to have and generate conversation. SOCIAL media, get it? A lot of companies today want the positive results of being a part of social media without actually being social.
Have conversations, generate them, and don’t worry about useless metrics like the amount of followers. Nowadays, you should be caring about the amount of engagement you are getting when you post. You want people sharing, commenting, liking, and everything in between.
Now the problem is there are so many social media platforms that it may be hard to know where you need to be to talk to people interested in you. Do some research, talk to your customers, and find where they spend their time having a conversation.
Tell a Story With Your Brand
Now that you are in the correct social media platforms where you can help generate conversation, how do you go about it?
You need to give people something to share. Having a good product or service only gets you in the game. You have to give people something to share and make it as easy as possible for them to share it. If you are creating something people want and put it behind forms and paywalls, you are losing the sharing ability.
A Word of Mouth strategy is about getting people to share positive information about your company. Receiving referrals and converting them into clients is a by-product of good word of mouth. If people share good things about you, they will likely come and buy from you next time they need something.
Give people an experience that they can put into a story to tell their friends and family.
Word of Mouth = Something worth sharing
People don’t talk about average experiences.
When was the last time someone came to you and said “Hey, I need to tell you about this perfectly mediocre experience I had at this restaurant”
You need to stand out. If you want to do the same thing everyone else is doing, you are one of the many with nothing new worth sharing. Break from the mould and be bold. Provide people with something so memorable they will remember you and tell people about it.
If you’re afraid of being different, you’re not the only one. That’s why there’s such a thing called ‘Industry Standard’. The industry leaders are the ones that are innovating and generating something people are excited to share. The ‘industry standards’ copy the industry leaders and bring nothing new to the table.
With a proper word of mouth strategy, your customers will be your marketers. You will spend less money on advertising and have customers that will stick by you time and time again.